Seasons Greetings Joey Style (2011)

( #nye )

Happy New Year friends! 2011 is slipping through our fingers and I find myself trying to conjure words to summarize what that means to me. I am going to be honest with you, I am struggling with this year’s love note. Not due to any dark feelings, in fact, just the opposite. I have been feeling pretty calm this past week, which is good for the blood pressure, but bad for writing clever things.


Even though times are tough and there is a bit of uncertainty regarding the future, it seems like my friends and family made it out of 2011 in one piece. It is easy to turn sour watching your 401k shrink, the value of your house decline, and services you depend on disappear. But all things considered, the Philadelphia area is breeding grounds for plucky people that take all this shit in stride and figure out how to get through it.

It is hard to focus on the negatives when I look around and see all these kids that I mention every year growing up strong and smart. The world is hard, but I am glad to see my people have their priorities straight. As far as my priorities go, I will be in good company with a baby on the way. I am not going to turn this post into “my child is going to change my life…bla bla bla” because anybody with a kid knows that as fact (a fact I have been told a million times along with “get your sleep now.”).

Jangled nerves and worry have subsided and I am looking forward to becoming a parent. Fundamentally, I really hope I don’t suck as a dad (that is not me fishing for kind words btw, just consider that line a karmic message in a bottle). It is a funny thing writing about the baby because I haven’t done it much and thanks to the holidays I am burned out on active baby conversation. I do want to mention that I feel bad about the news getting out late to certain friends. I guess people really do use social media to keep in touch (oops)…

All that being said, the quiet has been a blessing. Babies tend to bring out lots of opinions, all those voices talking at the same time can be overpowering. That brings me into a nice transition…

[Thank You]

If you have been reading these little year ends, you know that I view this section as a loaded gun… time to point and shoot. Here is hoping I don’t get a bullet in the foot:

Thanks to my wife. Outside of making this whole baby thing happen, she gets me. My odd sense of humor, my “in your face” method of dealing with…everything, my musical taste (very important in this house). Compatibility makes life so much better.

Speaking of the babies, when we told our parents, we asked them to keep it quiet for a few weeks until we got solid news from the doctors. My father-in-law was so excited, he had to tell someone… so he told his barber. That little story sort of made it all real to me. Also thank you Mr. D for making me look like I know how to pick out a bottle of wine.

I really don’t know how else to say this… I want to thank my mom for not being up our asses. My mom is at the ready to help Allison and I at a moments notice. But she never second guesses our decisions about anything. She offers her personal perspective or experience and leaves it at that. There is grace in accepting (and enjoying) your children as adults. I can thank her for a million things that she does for us, but this is the thing I appreciate the most.

I need to thank Verizon. They have made it possible for my father and I to communicate at a frequency that I did not think possible two years ago. Here is the best part… I am the bastard. If I haven’t seen or talked to my dad during the week, I get the call. “Sonny Boy, where have you been!?!” For a man that is fairly indifferent to just about everything, it is good to know that he cares.

Thank you to Tony Bombardi, the master detective – I love you, your family and your mini adventures that often lead right back to the starting point. Whenever I do freak out about this kid, I think “what would Tony do” and then you usually end up calling me anyway.

So I just went back and carved out a huge section thanking friends. This is what I am going to say instead: to the people that I talk to regularly – the people who call me to talk about music, house stuff, gear, zombies – you know who you are. I love you guys (and gals). If it were not for you, I would probably lock myself in my house and take all the phones off the hook (fine – take the batteries out of my cell phone – damn you nerds!). There are dozens of people I should mention, but nobody wants to read two pages of thanks (and then probably, rightfully, wondering why you are not on the list).

[Looking Forward]

There are times in my life, and if you know me I am sure you have been caught in this, when I want to hold everyone I know close to me. Then once that exercise becomes (inevitably) futile, I will retreat, ignoring everyone, and rethink my position. I have been in retreat mode the last few months. I have been thinking about what is right for me and my growing family. And right now I think change is good.

Instead of some grand statement of how to make yourself better in 2012, or jumping on some soapbox about the state of the world, I hope you – my friends, family, and readers – find happiness or something that smells like it.

May 2012 become whatever you want it to be.


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